Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Thames at Kew - in March sunshine

We visited Kew Gardens on Monday because the weather forecast was good.  I sat and sketched by the Thames in the sunshine with my arms bare in short sleeves.

The Thames at Kew - looking towards Richmond 12 and 15 March 2012
pen and inck and coloured pencils in Moleskine sketchbook, 11" x 16"
© Katherine Tyrrell - all rights reserved
On Thursday, we decided to go back because the weather was still very sunny and so I was able to finish the sketch I'd started on Monday.

Both days had started foggy and the haze was still present round the river albeit the sun was shining - and consequently there was lots of atmospheric perspective to play with.

The Thames is still tidal at this point of the river and was all the way out which gave me a lot more interest - and colour - in the riverbanks to sketch.

A rower kept coming up and down while we there.  The rowing causes some nice ripples on the still water. I was trying to work out how to get her in the sketch.  In the end I decided that if I worked it up into a formal drawing I'd use a photo to get her more towards the foreground but that she was moving too fast to sketch effectively while sat there.

You can view the Thames from two places.

  • Either sit on the benches located at Syon Overlook - at the River Thames end of Syon Vista - across the river from Syon House and Syon Park - but these have the Kew Haha, a fence and a towpath between the Gardens and the Thames (panorama sign in column F below)
  • Or sit on the bench on the towpath (Column E)  - which is beyond the Haha and can be reached via the Brentford Gate (column M below) and a nice quiet walk along the towpath.  This option gives the best view of the water.
extract from Kew Gardens map
The particular view in my sketch is of the view to the left of Syon House and Park.  It captures:
  • the western edge of Kew Gardens which borders the Thames and 
  • the trees of the Royal Mid Surrey Golf Club to the left - which occupies part of the Old Deer Park and 
  • the wilderness bordering the Thames south east of Syon park

I'll also be posting this sketch on the new Urban Sketchers London blog.


  1. So beautifully serene, Katherine. I would love to be there...

  2. A lovely one! you've really caught the misty light well with beautiful recession and calm.

  3. This is a lovely sketch. You have captured the atmosphere beautifully.

  4. So atmospheric and beautiful! You've really captured the mood.


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